Thursday, April 10, 2008

Assessing the accessibility of online learning

Assessing the accessibility of online learning.
Joanne Badge, Emma Dawson, Alan Cann and Jon Scott.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
Journal Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 2008, 45 (2): 103-113

A wide range of tools is now available to enable teaching practitioners to create web-based educational materials from PowerPoint presentations, adding a variety of different digital media, such as audio and animation. The pilot study described in this paper compared three different systems for producing multimedia presentations from existing PowerPoint files. The resulting resources were tested by a group of disabled students and a group of non-disabled students. Our findings show that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups in relation to their interaction with the resources. In particular, the students with disabilities were significantly more active in using the available controls to customise the running of the presentations. The data suggest that future work on why students with accessibility issues made different uses of these resources could encourage practitioners' deployment of multimedia resources for the benefit of all learners.

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